|“We ought always to thank God for you, brothers |
and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith
is growing more and more, and the love every
one of you has for each other is increasing.”
|—2 Thessalonians 1:3|
In small group Bible studies within larger church gatherings, we often talk a great deal about spiritual growth. We commend a daily period of Bible reading and prayer to every believer. We assert that spending time listening to God through His written Word and talking to Him in prayer will result in a steady movement forward of spiritual formation and growth. And, that assertion is absolutely true.
The whole idea of walking along the pathway of life with Jesus means that we will more and more become like Him. We will think like Him. We will act like Him. We will recognize the things He recognizes. We will applaud the things He applauds. We will gently and tenderly condemn the things that He condemns.
Spiritual growth that lasts is always a steady forward motion. A field of verdant grass, when viewed each day, does not appear to grow. Yet that same field, when looked at with some time between viewings, startles us with how much taller the grass has become. Similarly, in our lives as believers, our faith walk will display almost-too-hard-to-see daily growth. But, when viewed over time, people will see us becoming more and more like the One who has saved us by the shedding of His precious blood.
The Apostle Paul characterized such growth this way, as recorded in 2 Thessalonians 1:3:
We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.
Paul acknowledges that when he looks at the lives of these new believers, he sees definite spiritual growth. And, Paul thanks God for that revelation. For to see such growth in our fellow believers truly produces joy.
This new day, let’s remember to spend time in God’s written Word and in prayer. Let’s encourage each other that we might grow together in our faith. And, let’s remain grateful for the gift of the Holy Spirit, who helps us in promoting our steady, forward spiritual growth.